While I must say I am nowhere near where I want to be in my mindset journey, I now have a goal to work towards. To be honest, I am a very stubborn person, I have been stuck in my ways for so long it is hard to think of any other way to do things, and I have seen and dealt with the effects of it. It is almost like I chose to be ignorant about some things, like maybe the consequences would not be as severe or I would not have to accept that I did not fully understand a concept, it is like J. Cole has said, “Pride is the devil.” When I had first moved away from home for college, I got thrown out of my comfort zone, it was like all the anxieties and fears I had overcome at home no longer mattered, they came back and this time I felt like I had nothing or no one to fall back on. Of course, I knew I had resources available and my family was one call away, but that was not the issue, I knew I had to learn to be on my own. This was finally my chance to prove myself, I wanted to too, I just did not know how to do it. One day I am in class and we began learning about mindfulness and mindful practices, I was automatically intrigued, we focused on meditation in class and I was excited to learn about it and start practicing it. However, I was still very skeptical that I could actually benefit from this, but I still took it seriously. Once I had learned about mindfulness, I started relating everything to it, in a way I was forced to see how much I need to grow and improve, for myself. It was definitely hard to accept I had to change how I did things, but it was also so rewarding, I was finally able to see improvement in my mental health, show interest in my courses, and develop new routines in my new area. I was feeling more stable. With these changes taking place I really did start to relate everything to it. Subconsciously I was observing everything, the impact it would have on me, overall, I was so much more aware of everything.
During meditation I was able to step out of my thoughts and see them as they were, just thoughts they did not define me, I realized I am able to control my thoughts I do not have to feed into all of them. It has calmed my racing mind and brought me a peace of mind that I aim to have in my day to day life. I have begun to write down all the things I need to do and when they need done instead of weighing my mind down trying to remember every single deadline, I have improved on my time management, although that one still needs improvement, got rid of unnecessary distractions, and created more tidy habits in order to always have a sense of peace. Along with improving my mentality I was able to become more in tune with my body, having better eating habits, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and even the importance of working out. Although I must admit I do not actively meditate; I plan to incorporate it into my schedule more consistent and often. And even after having all of these realizations and growing moments I still struggle. Luckily, spirituality and religion go hand in hand with mindfulness. For me, I have focused on building a relationship with God and had my faith in his plan, I say this because I consider my relationship with God and praying to be another mindful practice.
I think that is what the main purpose of mindfulness is, to bring awareness to your eyes and change how you perceive things. As I previously said, it brought awareness for me in my spirituality, in my mind, and in my body, but it also brought awareness to bigger picture things such as our economy, global warming, air pollution, etc. By becoming aware of these things, you start to develop a concern for them. The first bigger picture problems I took the time to learn about would be about America’s plastic pollution from industries. For example, in 2017 China quit taking recycling from foreign countries and America started sending theirs to Indonesia. Unfortunately, Indonesia is a poor country and did not even have factories for the plastic waste they were receiving. It was being dumped on empty land in neighborhoods, polluting the air and land. I found this really interesting and proceeded to do more research about plastic waste, and discovered within this past decade only 10 percent of plastic that was sent to be recycled was actually recycled. In fact, not everything that has the recycling symbol will be recycled, anything that is multi-plastic will not be recycled, as it is too expensive for plastic industries to break down, also if you put anything dirty or contaminated in to be recycled it will not be recycled either. While I do think everyone needs to do their part to contribute to the betterment of our environment, it starts with awareness and recognition. By recognizing there is an issue you are able to educate yourself on the topic to work towards being a part of the solution. However, not all problems are able to be solved completely and directly, like my example, contribution from society is an amazing effort and step in the right direction, but it cannot necessarily be solved by consumers because of our roles. Industries are much more powerful than we are and have already mass produced their product before you even have the chance to buy one. These are the type of problems that matter, if we can raise awareness and work together as a whole, we will be able to supply new sustainable solutions that will benefit all parties, if all parties could be convinced to care.
I genuinely believe studying mindfulness has impacted me intellectually and encourage others to practice mindfulness in their daily lives too, whether its journalism, meditating, praying, exercising, or whatever helps you, focus and relax your mind. By having self awareness one is able to be in touch with their senses, emotions, and be able to have awareness within their surroundings. Though it is hard to transition to mindful thinking, it takes dedication and effort to experience a unique way of thinking and living and creating new routines, habits, and values, but it is something greatly beneficial and simple once you place those routines. To conclude, going on a mindfulness journey and improving my mindset to be focused on growth instead of having a fixed mindset like in the past has been truly life changing and extremely uplifting and refreshing. Once again, I still have a while to go on my journey, as there is so many more things for me to discover and grow on, but putting in the time and dedication will always be worth it when you have the opportunity to positively impact your day to day life.